SHAHÎD – شهيد
Literally: A witness.
A martyr. A Muslim, who has sacrificed his life on the way of Allah. Who has died for haqq through sacrificing his life. ‘Ulamâ explained that the causes of a person who has sacrificed his life in the way of Allah being called shahîd are as follows:
1: ‘Ulamâ who have based their explanation on the meaning of the word mashhûd (to be witnessed) said that; “Allah and the malâikah witness those who have sacrificed their lives on the way of haqq receiving the ni’mahs of Jannah immediately.”
2: Some ‘Ulamâ who have based their explanation on the meaning of the word shâhid (witness) said that; “They are not dead, they are alive and reside before the hudhur of Allah and witness both al-‘âlam al-mulk and malakût and benefit from all ni’mahs in those ‘âlams which are given to them.”
3: Some other ‘Ulamâ who have based their explanation on the meaning of the word shâhid (witness) said that; “They will be witnesses about the former ummahs with the prophets, on the day of qiyâmah.1 ”
“The Fourth Level of Life is that of the shahîds. According to the nass of Qur'an, the shahîds are at a level of life higher than that of the other dead in their graves. Since the shahîds sacrificed their worldly lives in the way of haqq, in His perfect munificence, Janâb-i Haqq bestows on them in al-‘âlam al-barzakh a life resembling earthly life, but without the sorrow and hardship. They do not know themselves to be dead, thinking only that they have gone to a better ‘âlam. They enjoy themselves in perfect happiness and do not suffer the pains of separation that accompany death. For sure the rûhs of the dead are eternal, but they know themselves to be dead. The happiness and pleasure they experience in the barzakh are not equal to that of the shahîds. Like if two men in their dreams enter a beautiful palace resembling Jannah; one knows that he is dreaming and the pleasure and enjoyment he receives are very deficient. He thinks: "If I wake up, all this enjoyment will disappear." While the other man does not know he is dreaming, and he experiences true happiness and pleasure.
Thus, in al-‘âlam al-barzakh, benefits of the deads and the shahîds from the life of barzakh are different. It has been established by innumerable incidents and riwâyât and it is certain that the shahîds manifest life in that way and think that they are alive. Indeed, this level of life has been illuminated and proved on repeated occasions by many occurrences like Hazrat Hamza Radhiyallahu ‘Anh, who is the Sayyîd of the shahîds, protecting those that have recourse to him and performing and making performed matters in this world. I myself, even, had a nephew and student called Ubeyd. He was killed at my side and in my place and became a shahîd. Then, when I was being held as a prisoner-of-war at a place three months' distance away, I entered his grave in a ru’yâ as-sâdiqah2 which was in the form of a dwelling-place under the earth, although I did not know where he was buried. I saw him living the level of life of shahîds. He thought that I was dead, and said that he had wept much for me. He thought that he was alive, but because he was beware from the Russian invasion, had made himself a good home under the ground. Thus, through some conditions and indications, this particular dream gave me the conviction for the above-mentioned haqiqah in the degree of shuhûd.” The First Letter/First Question
1 (The prophet of each ummah, which a prophet and haqq religion are sent, will be their witness in the qiyâmah. Allah Taâ’lâ will gather all the ummahs and call them on account and make their prophets as their witness.)
2 (The true dreams of the accepted, respectable and trustable people. The veracious dreams, which their haqiqahs occur in this world as it is seen.)
“Experiencing them numerous times, ru’yâ as-sâdiqah became for me like decisive proofs at the degree of haqq al-yaqîn, that Ilahî Qadar encompasses all things. Yes, especially the last few years, these dreams have reached such a degree that it has become certain for me that the most insignificant events and unimportant dealings and even the most commonplace conversations I will have the following day are written and recorded before they occur, and that by dreaming of them the night before, I have read them not with my tongue but with my eyes. Not once, not a hundred times, but perhaps a thousand times, the things I have said in my dreams or the people I have dreamt of at night, although I had not thought of them at all, turned out exactly or with little interpretation the following day. It means that the most insignificant events are both recorded and written before they happen. That is to say, there is no coincidence, events do not occur arbitrarily, they are not without order.” The Letters ( 410-411 )